Work in Progress

Moss troopers

Posted by Ochoin on 05 Nov 2018, 12:30

The final unit for the game on our first ECW game on the 18th has been started.

The Ukrainians finally dispatched this:

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=2481

These will become a small unit of Border Horse for my Covenanters in the ECW.

Firstly, they’re not as bad as PSR makes them out to be. The horses do look a bit medieval with their trappings but this actually fits nicely into what the Border Reivers rode at the time.

I’ve cut off most of their heads. I’ll leave a few with the “steel bonnets” but the rest are now pukka Borderers wearing blue bonnets. These heads are metal heads from Tumbling Dice & come with head & hat & a small peg for attachment purposes. I’ve filed the peg to a point and made a hole in the headless figures’ neck with a pin vise. These have been glued with two-part epoxy & are drying. One of the benefits of changing heads is that the figures are not so flat thanks to careful positioning.

Image

Later, also courtesy of TD, I’ll add some targs (Shields) & broadswords, pistols etc to some of the figures. Painting will feature lots of natural leather, muted toned clothing & a bit of tartan here & there. I think they’ll look good (but be pretty crap in a battle: kind of like Napoleonic Cossacks).

I’m pretty confident to have this done by game time.



donald
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by MABO on 05 Nov 2018, 17:01

Seems to be interesting. But maybe you can share some more close-ups? Thanks :yeah: :-D
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Posted by FredG on 05 Nov 2018, 20:18

I must admit that I'd associate the blue bonnet more with the Jacobites even if it does have a metal skullcap under it. The Reivers were (where I lived at least) refered to ( when not saying Reivers) as the Steel Bonnets or Mosstroopers. Not too sure about the tartan either as it was more a Highland district weave until the late 18th century (when not banned) and then the Victorians really expanded its use.
Reivers were highly skilled light cavalry on their hobbles and often served as mercenaries so I'm not sure why you'd think they'd "be pretty crap in a battle" as they'd likely have more fighting experience than the opposition.
Apart from that, more close-ups please :yeah: :-D
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Posted by Ochoin on 05 Nov 2018, 20:43

MABO wrote:Seems to be interesting. But maybe you can share some more close-ups? Thanks :yeah: :-D


When I get them painted.
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by Ochoin on 05 Nov 2018, 21:00

FredG wrote:I must admit that I'd associate the blue bonnet more with the Jacobites even if it does have a metal skullcap under it. The Reivers were (where I lived at least) refered to ( when not saying Reivers) as the Steel Bonnets or Mosstroopers. Not too sure about the tartan either as it was more a Highland district weave until the late 18th century (when not banned) and then the Victorians really expanded its use.
Reivers were highly skilled light cavalry on their hobbles and often served as mercenaries so I'm not sure why you'd think they'd "be pretty crap in a battle" as they'd likely have more fighting experience than the opposition.
Apart from that, more close-ups please :yeah: :-D


Hi, Fred, I'm glad to clear up all the issues you raise.

Blue bonnets. The blue bonnet was a type of soft woollen hat that for several hundred years was the customary working wear of Scottish labourers and farmers. Although a particularly broad and flat form was associated with the Scottish Lowlands, where it was sometimes called the "scone cap", the bonnet was also worn in parts of northern England and became widely adopted in the Highlands. It is a very acceptable for Reivers as "steel bonnets" were expensive & usually only worn by the Heid Mon & the quality.

Tartan. Checks or plaids have been associated with Celtic peoples since prehistoric times. Your response has a tiny grain of truth in that the Victorians artificially imposed organisation on the tartan system but it is utterly wrong to suppose that Borderers would have no tartan cloth. Rather than clan designations, districts long had preferred patterns & colours. Border tartan, sometimes known as Northumbrian tartan, Shepherds' Plaid or Border Drab, or Border check is a design used in woven fabrics long historically associated with the Anglo-Scottish Border, Adding such a bit of plaid to some of the figures is totally accurate & historical.

The ability of the Border Horse. You seem to have fallen into the fallacy that all it takes to make a soldier is ability. The 'Border Horse' at this time had within their numbers some of the fiercest Border Reivers on the Scottish side of the Border: By dint of constant conflict by the eternal forays of the English Borderers these light cavalry were probably the very best in Europe, in terms of ambush & raiding. Stand-up battles was not what they did. Additionally, their loyalty to the nation of Scotland was always sketchy. They joined, in some numbers, the Covenanters in hope of loot more than for do-or-die patriotism. I can recommend several books on the topic if you'd like to fill in the gaps of your knowledge. Alternately, look at the history of the period & see how successful the Covenanting Horse, including the Borderers were. Hint: they weren't.

I hope this was of help to clear up your misapprehensions on the topic.

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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by FredG on 05 Nov 2018, 21:26

It's OK Donald. I'll leave you to it asnd ingnore the references which note "that the Reiver wears no tartan". The paintings which show about 1% wearing flat bonnets (maybe the 99% with steel helmets were all heed men and nobs even when there's about 20 in the painting and not a flat bonnet in sight, with or without a metal scull cap). ;-)
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Posted by Ochoin on 05 Nov 2018, 23:48

It's OK Fred, I've done the research. I truly appreciate you chipping in with your opinions. I understand a lot of C19th & modern romantic nonsense has been written about them.

I prefer hard fact. Try these out for size if you'd like to know more: George MacDonald Fraser's 'The Steel Bonnets,' or 'The Reivers' by Alistair Moffat.

donald
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by FredG on 06 Nov 2018, 00:25

I read them both when they were published Donald. :yeah:
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Posted by Ochoin on 06 Nov 2018, 01:12

I don't think this is the place for scholarly debates & I hate to burden you. You did rather lose credibility by claiming blue bonnets were an exclusive Jacobite Highland phenomena. However, just to clarify.

I was taught to question sources at my University when I was studying history.
Re-enactors, God bless them, are prone to distort & simplify. I'd imagine there are re-enactor troupes who all wear steel bonnets just as there are Napoleonic ones who only wear full dress. Let's not confuse "sometimes" with "all the time". Wikipedia is guilty of similarly egregious error. To claim that C17th Borderers would not wear the headgear of choice for the region is patent nonsense.

Your proof ? I'm not sure which pictures you refer. As any historian would note, those painted after the time are subject to all sorts of wilful & accidental error. Are you referring to Victorian-era paintings? I'm actually not aware there are genuine C17th paintings of the Reiver hoi polloi. I would suggest the possibility of period paintings showing the gentry in their "Sunday best" & even, if more generic paintings exist, a similar vein of "improvement" by the artist. A steel helmet for everybody!!

I'm glad you've read the two sources cited. I have a lot more that are not as readily available.
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by FredG on 06 Nov 2018, 08:52

Ochoin wrote:I don't think this is the place for scholarly debates & I hate to burden you. You did rather lose credibility by claiming blue bonnets were an exclusive Jacobite Highland phenomena.


Ah! Perhaps you should read what I wrote rather than what you think I wrote Donald. ;-) I bet they taught you that at university too. :P
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Posted by Rich W on 06 Nov 2018, 23:34

Well this all feels a bit awkward...
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Posted by FredG on 07 Nov 2018, 01:04

Not at all, it's just a friendly skirmish :-D
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Posted by bilsonius on 08 Nov 2018, 19:10

Ochoin wrote:

"...C17th paintings of the Reiver hoi polloi..."

Perhaps the technical term for ordinary Moss Troopers should be "Bog Standard"...? :mrgreen:
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Posted by Ochoin on 08 Nov 2018, 20:08

bilsonius wrote:Ochoin wrote:

"...C17th paintings of the Reiver hoi polloi..."

Perhaps the technical term for ordinary Moss Troopers should be "Bog Standard"...? :mrgreen:


LOL. To be strictly accurate, Border reivers, the raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border, were strictly from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. So by the ECW, they were more of a memory of what they'd been with Willie of Kinmont et al.

So any foolishly strict parameters of what they were and what they wore are even less tenable.
So, yes, the Reivers had more or less ridden off into the sunset by this time.

donald
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by FredG on 08 Nov 2018, 21:10

Ochoin wrote:So, yes, the Reivers had more or less ridden off into the sunset by this time.

donald


Having lived in the area for 18 years and frequently returning I think I can safely say there's still a few who would certainly pass as the modern version. They don't wear steel bonnets any more though.
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